8-11-19 Loneliness

Loneliness

When I first came into recovery I was confused, lonely and in fear. I wanted you to fix me. I resisted when I saw that I had to do the work. I tried doing some of the work, but also holding onto many of the old behaviors of lying to myself, maintaining a strong sense of who I was and what I, I, I wanted out of the world. This made me feel alone and confused all over again. I was still holding onto my obsessions about ME.

It’s essential to stop our addictions. But when we do, we’re confused and feel alone because all we have known is gone. The games we’ve been playing, the masks we have worn, are gone. We feel exposed, empty and afraid. What we need to do now is to learn from others and work on ENGAGING in healthy aspects of life. We really don’t know what is ahead or how to connect properly sometimes. But we learn that if we keep trying to direct the show, or are afraid to engage in a new and different life, we’re very frustrated. If we let the hole that was made from stopping our addiction be how we identify with life, we’ll feel very sorry for ourselves. We’re choosing to be defeated before we’ve even begun.

We need to work with feeling worthy and engaged a little bit at a time. We’ve let our addiction run our lives into the ground for years. We need to be patient with ourselves; to keep going and believing in ourselves. Our sense of peace and connection will come. Along the way, we learn that we can choose to expand into curiosity and a simple sense of the joy of being alive. With clean time, we recognize that we’ll have ups and downs, and we need to be steadfast about keeping our physical, mental and spiritual connections current. It’s like brushing our teeth…it’s not a one-and-done, but a practice that shows results because it is performed again and again. Life is much the same. We don’t make progress by doing a thing one time, or by thinking about what a good idea it would be to have a better practice in our spiritual life, get outside more, laugh more, be more involved in things that scare us a little. We have to actually DO—take action on—our good ideas. Laziness is a major problem that we can recognize and address. We don’t want to die with regrets. Or fuzzy teeth.

As we feel how precious this life is and how important it is to care for ourselves and help others, our sense of loneliness fades into that fog that used to be our whole existence. We all have times of feeling sorry for ourselves, of being afraid and confused. We will act out with goofy behavior sometimes, and that is ok. We will get a little angry or frustrated sometimes. We have to be human, but we don’t have to identify with our difficulties. We identify with our sense of connection, our worthiness, and the joy we feel in life because we choose to. That is the foundation that we constantly support in ourselves, and help others to build. We support it in ourselves, by helping others.

For one thing, we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we’ve always had. “Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness.” Twelve and Twelve, p. 57.

If you want to feel alone, think about all your difficulties and how terrible your life is. If you want to feel good, feel all the ways you can connect with, can interact and have a positive effect, in this wonderful, crazy world.

Buddhist teachers claim that beyond that ultimate loneliness is joy. But that is hard to understand. For many of us, when we read or hear that teaching, it just doesn’t seem to fit. Perhaps it doesn’t “fit” because it is beyond concept. Perhaps our mind has met something which it cannot grasp! However, what choice is there? Exhausted by the grinding machine of doubt, fear, and confusion, meditation is where we can begin to let go. We can bring our practice of using the breath to center and calm, even a little bit, when we keep running into ourself all the time.

When was the last time you heard a bird sing? Actually stopped and listened to it? What about the sound of the wind blowing through the trees? When was the last time you looked up at the stars, or noticed how the sunlight reflects through the clouds?

When we feel lonely, in despair, we’re grasping at the worldly things that we think define us. When we let go of those thoughts and perceptions of ourself, we will feel afraid. We don’t have a definition of who we are anymore. If we can sit with that feeling of uncertainty, and go through it, not obsessing or identifying with how we feel, we will open up to a new, clearer perception of reality.

As the Indian spiritual guru Osho wrote, “Everybody is brought up in such a way that we think we have to be something, somebody, somewhere in the future. An image is given to us, and we have to be like it. That image causes us tension because we aren’t “it,” we’re something else, yet we believe we have to be “it.” And the ideal goes on pulling us towards the future, out of the present. The ideal becomes a constant nightmare because it goes on condemning. Whatsoever you do is imperfect because you have an ideal of perfection. Whatsoever you attain is still not fulfilling because you have a mad expectation which can never be satisfied.”

Buddhist master Dipa Ma wrote, “There is nothing ultimately to cling to in this world. Live simply. A very simple life is good for everything. Too much luxury is a hindrance to practice.”

Too much doubt is also a hindrance. Believe in yourself, just as you are, and the path you are on. You are going to change; nothing stays to same. How you will change will be influenced by how much you open up. Try to not reproduce or avoid difficulties or joys. Believe in yourself, and move forward in curiosity, joy, and not too much thinking.

Dipa Ma also made it clear that there is nothing wrong with lapses in mindfulness, with the mind wandering. “It happens to everyone, It is not a permanent problem.” GET OUT OF YOURSELF!!! Let go, let go, let go. Breathe, let go, and smile. You have to laugh a little bit when you realize how hard you have been holding onto something that isn’t even really there.

“I was to know happiness, peace and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.” Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 8. Yeah, baby!

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery website – fcheartofrecovery.com


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